§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many bus services were operated from Shrewsbury(a) in May 1997 and (b) on the most recent date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 182W
§ Mr. Hill
The information is as follows1997 bus services from Shrewsbury (excluding park and rides) per week: 881Latest recorded figures: 928.The increase in journeys from Shrewsbury to other destinations amounts to 47 per week and are in the main rural services. Some of this increase may be as a result of the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant which was introduced in 1998–99 and has provided over 1,800 new and enhanced services in rural England and 58 in Shropshire in 1999–2000. The allocation for 2001–02 has already been announced and will allow the support of services in towns up to a population of 25,000. A percentage of the grant will also be available for the support of recently withdrawn services or existing services under threat of withdrawal. The allocation for Shropshire for 2001–02 is £804,914 with similar allocations up to 2003–04.